Why it’s important: Some 36 million people in the region don’t have enough good food to eat, and degraded soils play a role in it. Success, Lal says, will mean “we can eliminate hunger and malnutrition in the region, and we can protect the natural resources that are now being degraded.”
Last year, Ohioans working as Master Gardener Volunteers grew nearly 80,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables—equal to the weight of a fully loaded 18-wheeler, or about 65,000 meals—which they donated to some 101 food pantries across Ohio to help people in need.
Mike Hogan, an OSU Extension educator who facilitates the Master Gardener Volunteers program in Franklin County, said the need for such donations “significantly increased this year due to the pandemic.”
Master Gardener Volunteers are plant lovers who donate their expertise and time serving the public. CFAES’ outreach arm, OSU Extension, runs the program, which gives training and has volunteers in most of the state’s counties.
Sales of real Christmas trees “are booming as pandemic-weary Americans seek solace,” said a recent headline in the New York Times.
That’s good news for Christmas tree growers, like these in Ohio. But in the interest of recycling and reducing solid waste, what are some good green options to do with a Christmas tree after Christmas?
Here’s a pro tip: If you’re planning to decorate and later plant a live balled-and-burlapped Christmas tree, dig the hole ahead of time before the ground freezes hard. That means, in Ohio, you can do that as soon as right now.
Another option: Make a pile of leaves or straw in the spot where you want to plant your tree. Doing that can keep the ground from freezing—and the hole from filling with water—before you plant.
Want more pro tips? Watch this video by Paul Snyder of CFAES’ Secrest Arboretum. It’s an easy-to-follow 10-minute how-to on what to do.